LABOUR CITY COUNCILLORS RESIGN
Councillors allege anti-Semitism and bullying in party
Two Labour city councillors have dramatically resigned after alleging they were bullied for speaking out against antiSemitism in the party - and because of poor behaviour by members during meetings.
Deputy leader of the Labour group on Peterborough City Council Cllr Richard Ferris, and East ward member Cllr Matthew Mahabadi, said they were pressured into keeping quiet over what they allege is anti-Semitism in the Peterborough Labour Party, and that the online backlash against them made them fear for their families’ safety.
The pair highlighted the selection of Alan Bull for this year’s local elections after he shared an article which suggested the Holocaust was a hoax. Mr Bull said this was to find out his friends’ views on the article, and that he had never denied the Holocaust.
A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously, which are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures. We are taking action against antiSemitism, standing in solidarity with Jewish communities, and rebuilding trust.”
Cllr Mahabadi has not resigned from the party. Cllr Ferris, member for Park ward, has not said if he has resigned.
In their statement they also criticised the council’s Conservative cabinet over the support given to homeless families living at St Michael’s Gate in Parnwell.
They said: “It is to the everlasting shame of this Tory administration that it took unwanted pressure from the Peterborough Telegraph to force them to fix the heating and roofs of these residents.”
They added: “(The cabinet’s) hubris and childishness is to blame for a culture of disrespect and playground pettiness that inhabits the Council Chamber and social media.”
Council leader Cllr John Holdich said: “My view is that the two are victims of weak inexperienced leadership locally.”
He added: “St Michael’s Gate has housed approximately 250 people, of which 169 have been permanently re-housed - all of these could have easily needed to go into bed and breakfast, at cost to the city and its taxpayers.”
Richard Ferris and Matthew Mahabadi